The Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has insisted that its on-going monitoring and verification exercise on tax collections by Deposit Money Banks appointed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigeria Customs Service was in order.
The commission said this falls within its mandate as contained in Section 6(1) of the RMAFC Act, 2004 which provides that the commission shall have powers to among others monitor the accruals to and disbursement of revenue from the Federation Account.
In a statement signed by the Head, Public Relations of the commission, Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed, the Commission explained that it was not a tax authority but a revenue watchdog that monitors revenue collections by revenue generating entities like the FIRS, Customs, DPR, NNPC and others that remit directly into the Federation Account. The revenue streams that accrue into the Federation Account under the watch of RMAFC include tax (Withholding Tax and Vat), Royalties, Signature Bonuses, custom duties, tariff, etc.
According to the statement, the clarification became necessary following media reports that challenged the legality of the exercise by vested interest. It is worth clarifying that RMAFC does not deal with individual tax payers directly but monitors collections by collaborating with sister agencies like the CBN, NNPC, DPR, Customs, FIRS to ascertain how much was actually collected and remitted into the Federation Account so as to minimize revenue leakages.
It would be recalled that in an earlier exercise covering January, 2008-June, 2012 RMAFC had announced the recovery of the sum of N4.2bn from the banks promising that more recoveries would be made. Buoyed by the huge success recorded, the Commission following the approval of the National Economic Council launched the 2nd phase of the exercise covering the period July 2012-Dec. 2015 which so far established the sum of N57.7bn. “Thus far, the sum of N48.7bn has already been recovered and remitted into the Federation Account while the remaining balance of N9.07bn which relates to withholding tax on dividend only has been duly released to the benefitting States Boards of Internal Revenue (SBIR)”.
In order to ensure transparency and accountability in revenue generation and remittance with a view to reducing revenue leakages, the Commission seeks further collaboration and cooperation of revenue generating and regulatory agencies, anti-corruption agencies as well as the civil society and the media.